Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima has disclosed that Nigeria has mobillised over half a billion dollars for innovative, profitable, equitable and sustainable food systems transformation initiative,
The Director Information in the Office of the Vice President, Olusola Abiola, in a statement, said that the Vice President made the disclosure while chairing a high-level meeting on the first day of the UN Food Systems Summit declared open in Rome, Italy by the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guteress.
Kashim Shettima said the funds were mobilised “through domestic resources, multilateral development banks, international financial institutions, climate funds leading agro-businesses,” and would be used for “Innovation finance for food system transformation; development of Nigeria’s agro value chain and Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones programmes.”
Explaining further, Sen. Kashim Shettima said “in this event, the Government of Nigeria will be showcasing its Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) as a unique example of a successful partnership between producers, the public sector and private operators.”
“The VCDP which is co-funded by the of Nigeria and IFAD has empowered vulnerable farmers and youth to engage into commercial partnerships with some of the biggest food processing and marketing firms in the world such as OLAM, a world leading agri-business company operating in over 60 countries with an annual revenue of about $39.8 billion,” the Vice President added.
Stating the government’s vision about ending hunger, the VP added that “building on the success of the VCDP, the Federal Government is determined to capacitate Nigeria’s rural smallholders and operators, youth and women living below the poverty line to take advantage of the new Special Processing Zones.”
On the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ), Vice President Shettima said it “brings together local governments, IFAD, AfDB, IsDB, GCF, OLAM and other private actors alongside the government of Nigeria for transformative financing of food systems that leaves no-one behind.”
On removing impediments to economic recovery, he said “we had two albatrosses around our necks: subsidy on petrol and multiple exchange rates system.
“We withdrew the subsidy on petrol from day one, just like President Ruto did in Kenya. To mitigate the effects of the subsidy removal, the government embarked on the immediate release of grains and fertilizers.
“A commodity marketing board has been put in place to continuously review and monitor the prices of food items.”
“Along this way, the President has already approved the infusion of huge quantum of funds towards repositioning of our security architecture because we have similar problems with Somalia and Kenya, especially in the northeast and northwest regions of the country. We are repositioning our security architecture to provide support for farms and farmers.”
The Vice President also had bilateral meeting with the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni. Both leaders discussed issues about the development of the two countries.
The Vice President was accompanied to the meeting by Nigeria’s Ambassador to Italy, Mfawa Abam and the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, Sen. Ibrahim Hadejia, and other senior government officials.